Mama woke us up really early, "Wake up lazy heads. Go wash your face and then I'll give you breakfast. Early start so we can reach home early too," she said.
And Brad had to open his mouth, "Aren't we supposed to go back to the zoo? We haven't seen the lion or bison!"
"Brad, what if we leave you at the zoo while the rest of us return to Sydney. Would you like that?" Dad has a surefire way of shutting Brad up. I just laugh in my head. Don't want to risk getting scolded by Dad.
ON THE ROAD
As expected, it was a loooong and boooooring journey again. Brad, afraid of Dad, just curled up and snored.
Rescue, fortunately, came via Mama.
"Dad, did you notice people selling cherries by the roadside when we passed by this way a few days ago?" she said.
He responded, "Yes. So?"
"Let's find out if there's any PYO orchards around here," Mama suggested.
"I think the cherry orchards are either in Orange or Bathurst. We'll find out there," Dad, surprisingly, agreed.
When we reached Bathurst (Dad didn't stop at Orange!!!), Mama said she needed a pee-stop so Dad had to find one and stopped there.
Mama, my lovely cunning mum, actually went to the big map on the wall and tried to see if any orchard is listed there. When Dad saw what she was doing, she quickly ran to the toilets. teeheehee....
Street view of Bathurst. This city is famous for Mount Panorama, the V8 Supercar Racing circuit.
We found a kebab shop in the city centre and tried to get more information from the shopkeeper. The chap (he's quite cute) told us to go to the Information Centre that's located on the road to Sydney. He also said there's a mosque that we can visit in a suburb called Kelso. After a hearty meal of kebab and chips, we found ourselves on the road again. This time looking for the information centre.
The lady at the counter was very friendly. Mama and Dad bought some Bathurst souvenirs there before asking for information and maps. We found out that there are three PYO cherry orchards in Bathurst. The nice lady marked them on the map and gave us the addresses and telephone numbers. Mama called all the orchards and then made the decision to visit based on the way the orchard people answered. "In business, first impression counts," she explained.
OFF TO THE ORCHARD
Cows having a siesta under a tree. We saw many such scenes along the way to the orchard.
Although we were told that the orchard is just 15 minutes away, it felt like forever. I guess it was because we were all super excited. Oh, the orchard we were looking for is called Stockman's Ridge, located on Limekiln Road. It has a website, you can google it. It practises organic farming.
Look at those humongous cherries! This type is called Starkrimson and matures to a deep maroon.
Mama checking out cherries hiding under the leaves. As the farm is organic, we could eat the fruits straight away as we pick them.
Harvest of the day. The owners even provided us with environment friendly bags.
The harvest upclose. We only picked from three trees and yet managed to get almost 6kg.
Mama checking out a fruiting peach tree.
The peaches are unfortunately still very young. Not ready for harvest yet.
An apricot tree.
Plums, still unripe too.
Organic almonds, anyone?
Dad practising his photography skill. The wooden stilt house is the orchard's office.
On the way back to the main road leading to Sydney, Mama noticed that we would actually be passing by Kelso. So Dad made a detour to look for the mosque.
I must say that a day in the cherry orchard had a good effect on Dad. He even agreed to stop and stretch our legs at the Blue Mountains. It was late and so we miss the yummylicious hot chocolates at the Chocolate Gallery. But the Three Sisters in Katoomba is always open. So we visited them.
The graceful Three Sisters.
Sunset at Echo Point.
It took another one and a half hours before we reached home. But I'm not complaining. purrr....meow!